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War Studies MA



The MA in War studies enhances analytical, conceptual, research and critical thinking skills designed expressly to enhance employability and aid professional career development. You will gain an understanding of the phenomenon of war and conflict, along with its causes, conduct and consequences, from historical, political, philosophical, military and sociological viewpoints. 

Key benefits

  • Designed to provide a postgraduate-level introduction to War Studies for students who have little or no specialist background in the field.

  • A unique opportunity to study war from a multi-disciplinary perspective in order to achieve a sophisticated and well-rounded understanding of the phenomenon.

  • A chance to develop a range of transferable skills that will enhance your employability, aid your professional-career development and help prepare you for postgraduate research. These include analytical, conceptual, critical-thinking, research and communication skills.

  • You will be taught by some of the very best academics in the field. Departmental staff are internationally acknowledged experts in their areas of specialization; they are active researchers and routinely employ their latest findings in their teaching.

  • An opportunity to study at a global centre of excellence that enjoys close relationships with other academic institutions, with think tanks, non-governmental organizations and policy-making bodies around the world.

  • Opportunities to network with high-profile visitors, such as government ministers, ambassadors and generals, who frequently give talks in the Department.

Read what David Hiley former student, now working for Renaissance Strategic Advisors says about this programme here.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Course intake 15-25 FT and PT.

Course leaders Dr John Stone

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, King’s College London Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429 fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact email

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of War Studies


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

Bachelors degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent e.g. US CGPA of 3.3+) in history, international relations, political science, economics or other appropriate subject.

Successful applicants will generally be achieving grades at mid 2:1 level (or equivalent overseas level) or higher.

Application procedure

An application fee of £40 applies (non-refundable). All applications are assessed by a committee of academic tutors. We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide a personal statement explaining why you are interested in this particular programme, and outlining any relevant experience you have. If there are any anomalies in your academic record, please use the personal statement to explain related extenuating circumstances.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 01 April 2016 for 2016 entry. Prior to this date all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After this date applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.


Course detail


War is a key aspect of human experience, and people have long sought to understand it from a diverse range of perspectives. Students of war are drawn from the ranks of historians, social scientists, philosophers, jurists and artists. Practitioners of war find instrumental value in its study. These and others have brought their particular insights and concerns to bear on the subject. However, the study of war from any single standpoint risks producing an overly narrow perspective that cannot accommodate war’s complexity. Individual issues are elucidated but we remain a long way from understanding war “in the round”. Such a goal demands a different, more holisitic, approach.

The MA in War Studies is designed to meet this demand by introducing students to a multidisciplinary approach to the study of war. As such, it provides an intellectual “toolbox” whose contents are drawn from a range of disciplines associated with the humanities and the social sciences. Students will not be trained as specialist historians, philosophers, strategists, etc., but they will be introduced to elements of various disciplines that are germane to the study of war. The challenge lies in combining them in order to achieve a sophisticated and rounded understanding of the subject.

Course purpose

To introduce the field of war studies to graduate students and professionals, professionals with an interest in deepening their understanding of war. You will gain an understanding of the phenomenon of war and conflict, along with its causes, conduct and consequences, from historical, political, philosophical, military and sociological viewpoints. The programme will appeal to students from a wide range of backgrounds including politics, history and strategic studies; and professionals in defence, diplomacy and foreign affairs wanting to reflect on the broader implications of their experiences.

Course format and assessment

Continuous assessment by essay; examinations and a dissertation.



Career prospects

War Studies Graduates go on to work for NGOs, the FCO, the MOD, the Home Office, NATO, the UN or pursue careers in journalism, finance, academia, the diplomatic services, the armed forces and more. Recent posts held by our alumni include Threat Analyst, Director of Political Violence Forecasting, Research Advisor at NATO Defence College, Foreign Policy Fellow.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£10,500 p.a. (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£18,750 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£5,250 p.a. (2016/17)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£9,375 p.a. (2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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